Abnormal Hair Growth Conditions

Hirsutism

Hirsutism is defined as the excessive growth of thick dark hair in locations where hair growth in women is usually minimal or absent. It is caused by having too much testosterone (a male hormone) in your body. Everyone has some level of testosterone, but if you have more male hormones than female hormones, signs of secondary male sex characteristics, including body hair growth, can begin to develop.

Pregnancy can be a cause of unusual hair growth on the belly. During pregnancy, hormone levels rise and this can cause a variety of temporary side effects including acne, changes in skin tone and the growth of unwanted body hair.

Because hair growth varies among individual women and across ethnic groups, it is often difficult to judge whether a patient is hirsute. Dark-haired, darkly pigmented individuals of either sex tend to be more hirsute than blond or fair-skinned persons. In most cases, hirsutism is a benign condition and is primarily of cosmetic concern.

Hypertrichosis

Congenital generalized hypertrichosis (or werewolf syndrome) is a medical term referring to a condition of excessive body hair. It can be either generalized, symmetrically affecting most of the torso and limbs, or localized, affecting one or more areas of skin. It may be mild or severe. In most cases, the term is used to refer to an above-average amount of unwanted but normal body hair, and is considered to be an aspect of normal variations within humans.

In medical practice, once generalized hypertrichosis has been distinguished from hirsutism, it is most often considered to be a variation of the normal, due primarily to genetic factors.

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) is a medical term for ingrowing hairs, often caused by sebaceous gland not producing enough oil, or shaving with a razor, or certain other factors. It is also referred to by colloquial terms such as “razor bumps”.

PFB is most common on the male face, but it can also happen on other parts of the body where hair is shaved or plucked, especially areas where hair is curly and the skin is sensitive, such as regions of genital shaving.

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